2016 Year In Review

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

We are pleased to share with you our 2016 Year In Review via the following link.   Its intent is to update you on activities during the prior year, and to engage you in upcoming projects and activities.  We focus on key areas: our programs, our collaborations, our interns, and our publication – the Delaware Journal of Public Health.
As always, we deeply appreciate your engagement in, and support of, the Delaware Academy of Medicine / Delaware Public Health Association.
Please reach out to us with any feedback and suggestions you may have.

Paris Agreement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: David Fouse at 202-777-2501 or david.fouse@apha.org Decision to withdraw from climate agreement is a disaster for public health Statement from Georges Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association Washington, D.C., June 1, 2017 — “President Donald Trump’s decision today to renege on U.S. commitments to …

87th Annual Meeting Photo Gallery

Please click the following link to view photos from the 87th Annual Meeting of the Delaware Academy of Medicine / Delaware Public Health Association. All photos by Scott Ellis.

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Innovative Discoveries Series

Big Data to Knowledge: Integrated Bioinformatics towards Systems
Biology and Precision Medicine

Presented by
Cathy Wu, PhD

REGISTER ONLINE TODAY! no cost

Friday, June 23, 2017
Noon to 1 p.m.
In-person: Christiana Hospital, Room 1100
Online: Watch live at https://bluejeans.com/361095905
Or join meeting ID 361095905 on the BlueJeans app on your smartphone or tablet

This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

Statement on Vaccines

Vaccines Continue to be Tested and Proven Safe

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2017). American Academy of Pediatrics Emphasizes Safety and Importance of Vaccines. Retrieved from https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-Emphasizes-Safety-and-Importance-of-Vaccines.aspx

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Infant Immunizations FAQs. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/parent-questions.html

Institute of Medicine. (2004). Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism. Retrieved from https://www.nap.edu/catalog/10997/immunization-safety-review-vaccines-and-autism

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2015).  Thimerosal in Vaccines: Questions and Answers. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/QuestionsaboutVaccines/UCM070430#q5

In light of recent claims by politicians or appointees that vaccines are linked to autism, or are unsafe when administered according to the recommended schedule, or contain dangerous products like Thimerosal, the public health community and the Delaware Academy of Medicine/Delaware Public Health Association continue to come down on the side of science.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research is responsible for regulating vaccines in the United States.  Before a vaccine can be licensed for public use, it must be tested for safety in the laboratory, in animals, and in human clinical trials.  Human clinical trials include looking for common adverse events in a few participants (phase 1), several hundred volunteers looking for local reactions and general side effects like fever (phase 2), and establishing the effectiveness of the vaccine and determining less common side effects with thousands of participants (phase 3).  If a vaccine is to be given at the same time as another vaccine, the two vaccines are tested together (FDA, 2015).  If a dangerous effect is found, that vaccine is not licensed for public use.

Vaccines are continuously monitored following licensure by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is run by both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  The VAERS is a national system that collects all reports of adverse events following vaccination.  Phase 4 clinical studies are also conducted to further evaluate the new vaccine, and population based studies are conducted through the use of databases like the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) for the lifetime of the use of the vaccine (FDA, 2015).

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Immunization Safety Review Committee “favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism” (IOM, 2004).  Despite this finding, “all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age or younger and marketed in the U.S. contain no thimerosal or only trace amounts” (FDA, 2015).

“Infants and young children who follow immunization schedules that spread out shots – or leave out shots – are at risk of developing diseases during the time that shots are delayed” (CDC, 2016). Vaccines “keep communities healthy, and protect some of the most vulnerable in our society” (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2017).  The Delaware Academy of Medicine will continue to advocate for vaccines and vaccine use in the state of Delaware and the United States.

June Awareness

June is…

National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month – http://www.headaches.org/june-is-national-migraine-headache-awareness-month/
National Hernia Awareness Month – http://www.liveyourlifept.com/blog/2015/06/17/hernias/
National Scleroderma Awareness Month – http://www.scleroderma.org/site/PageServer?pagename=awareness_month
Fireworks Safety Month – https://www.consumersafety.org/news/products/national-fireworks-safety-month/
Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month – http://www.myasthenia.org/
National Men’s Health Month – http://www.menshealthmonth.org/
National Aphasia Awareness Month – http://www.strokeassociation.org/
National Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMS) Awareness Month – https://www.nationalcmv.org/
National Scoliosis Awareness Month – http://www.srs.org
National Great Outdoors Month – http://www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org/
National Safety Month – http://www.nsc.org

Week of…

12-18: National Men’s Health (http://www.menshealthmonth.org/week.html)
25 – July 1: Helen-Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week (http://nfadb.org/event/2017-helen-keller-deaf-blind-awareness-week/)

Day of…

5th – World Environment Day (http://worldenvironmentday.global/)
6th – National Hunger Awareness Day
3rd – National Trails Day (http://nationaltrailsday.americanhiking.org/)
4th – National Cancer Survivor’s Day (http://www.ncsd.org/)
11th – National Children’s Day (https://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/childrens-day-second-sunday-in-june/)
14th – World Blood Donor Day (http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-blood-donor-day/2017/en/)
18th – Father’s Day
19th – World Sickle Cell Day (http://www.sicklecelldisease.org/)
21st – National ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Day (http://www.bradycampaign.org/)
27th – National HIV Testing Day ( http://www.aids.gov)

Skin Cancer Prevention

Delaware ranks 3rd in the nation for skin cancer diagnosis!

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month: here are some tips to stay sun safe now, and all year long.

Tip 1: Everyone is at Risk!

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, and protecting yourself from both UVA and UVB rays is the best way to decrease your risk. Ultraviolet (UV) rays damage the outer layer of the skin: the more you are exposed to these damaging rays (long-term sun exposure, sunbathing, indoor tanning, getting a sunburn), the higher your risk for developing skin cancer. And you can be exposed to these UV rays 365 days a year, not just in the summer!  Exposure to the sun, and its UV rays, can also cause premature aging, wrinkles, age spots, and uneven skin tone.

Tip 2: Protect Your Skin!

There are simple things you can do to protect your skin from the sun:
1. Apply sunscreen to your whole body (not just the exposed bits) 30 minutes before going outside.
2. Use a water-resistant sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection.  Make sure it is broad-spectrum and SPF 15 or higher.
3. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, immediately after swimming, or after excessive sweating.
4. Seek shade, especially between peak sun exposure hours of 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.
5. Wear wide-brimmed hats to cover your head, face, neck, and ears.
6. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block 99% or more of UV light.

Tip 3: Know Your Sun Facts!
  • The sun’s rays can reach you on cloudy or hazy days, and reflect off of water and sand.
  • Wearing a sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater can drastically decrease your risk of skin cancer
  • People with an increased risk for skin cancer include:
    • Those with family histories of skin cancer.
    • Those with fairer complexions (more likely to sunburn, which increases risk)
    • Those with freckles.
    • Those with blonde or red hair, and blue or green eyes.
    • Those who work or play outdoors frequently
    • Those with a history of indoor tanning
Tip 4: Check It Out!

Check all exposed and unexposed parts of your body.  A change in a mole, a new growth, or even an unhealed sore can be a sign of skin cancer.  Use the ABCDE Rule of Melanoma:

A – Asymmetry.  One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
B – Border. The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
C – Color. The color of the mole is not the same all over, and may include shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
D – Diameter. The spot is larger than 6 milimeters across (about 1/4 inch, or the size of a pencil eraser).
E – Evolving. The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.

Tip 5: If You’re Not Sure, Ask!

Some melanomas do not fit these rules, so please tell your doctor about any changes, new spots on the skin, or growths that do not look the same as the rest of your moles.  Please see a dermatologist if you identify anything suspicious.

Patient-Centered Engagement Project around Chronic Kidney Disease

Delaware-CKD.org

The Academy/DPHA is partnering with the Christiana Care Value Institute to engage patients (and their support networks) who have Chronic Kidney Disease, End-stage Renal Failure, Nephrotic Syndrome, and who have had kidney transplants. More than 20 million people over the age of 20 in the U.S. have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Because CKD patients have multiple comorbid conditions, they see numerous healthcare providers. Poor communication between physicians as well as different electronic health records systems can create fragmented patient care, resulting in suboptimal clinical outcomes. Development of a CKD registry in Delaware will join electronic health records of multiple sources to improve coordination of care. A team of patients, clinicians, and researchers are collaborating to gather information and facilitate Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) based on the CKD registry.